Cisco Hosted Collaboration provider Collab9 is continuing its channel push thanks to a new government-focused distribution partnership with Comstor.
The agreement will bring FedRAMP and FISMA-certified Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solutions (HCS) exclusively to channel partners of Comstor, the Cisco-focused division of Westcon Group. Kevin Schatzle, CEO of Collab9, said those government certifications are key as interest in cloud services from the U.S. federal government grows.
"It's an expensive and long process to be certified as a cloud provider through FedRAMP and FISMA certification," said Schatzle. "The audit process only takes four months when usually it takes up to nine months, and this summer it will go live for the full certification to be complete."
Collab9 first entered into a partnership with the Tarrytown, N.Y.-based distributor last September to bring a white-labeled HCS offering to Comstor resellers. The new multiyear agreement with Comstor gives the distributor exclusive rights to offer the government-compliant HCS offering.
"As a part of our overall continued strategy, we have the unique opportunity as being first to market with a voice and collaboration offering from Cisco in a FedRAMP and FISMA-compliant platform," said Schatzle. "This offering is exclusive to Comstor and its resellers in order to get the certification to work with the federal government."
Comstor's public sector resellers will now be able to bring Cisco cloud-based collaboration solutions to federal government, said Jay Denton, director of marketing for Comstor.
"The federal government is focused on looking at moving to a consumption-based subscription model that has a predictable budget," said Denton. "Resellers will now be able to answer a question they haven't been able to answer before in terms of providing a solution that is federally focused."
With this FedRAMP and FISMA-certified HCS solution, resellers will be able to have significant revenue streams, said Schatzle.
"The federal government now has a solution to consume and that’s the benefit for the reseller," said Schatzle. "The value to resellers is they can make more money than selling traditional on-premise. For small resellers, because it's cloud and monthly billing, they can compete for large opportunities."
For federal government agencies, there are tremendous advantages of a hosted cloud solution like rapid implementation and security, said Schatzle. But the biggest benefit, he said, is reducing costs.
"It's rapid implementation where they don’t need to hire staff to take care of it [because] we're doing it for them and the cost over three years is lower than putting it in their own data center," said Schatzle. "It saves taxpayers' money, and it's cheaper than buying it themselves."
PUBLISHED MARCH 14, 2014